Royal Bank offers instant cross-border payments

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AN interbank payment system that cuts the time taken for international payments from days to seconds is being launched on a global scale by Royal Bank of Scotland.

EDS, the American information technology giant, has joined Royal Bank and Banco Santander of Spain to promote Ibos (Inter-Bank On-Line System). They will own equal shares in it, and Goldman Sachs, the company's financial adviser, will hold a minority stake.

Royal Bank and Banco Santander have spent three years developing Ibos as a cheaper and quicker replacement to existing cross-border interbank payment systems, for both private and business clients.

Banks that join Ibos can offer clients near-instant payments abroad to any bank account of another Ibos member. There are no joining fees, only transaction charges.